Chris Taylor gave them three.
Second round, fast pitch, boom. Fifth round, lead, boom. Seventh round, change, boom.
Heard enough? The Atlanta Braves certainly did.
Enough seen? The Dodgers certainly did.
Hold the eulogy. Keep the lights on. Erase your weekend. This series of National League championships lives on.
Trailing three games to one and on the verge of elimination, the Dodgers used Taylor’s three historic homers on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium to secure an 11-2 victory and perhaps tighten those Braves’ dark blue collars. .
“CT-three! CT-three! The crowd chanted.
Worried, the Braves looked.
“That’s why you play the game.… These are times that we’re going to come back to for the rest of our lives, and that’s pretty cool,” Taylor said afterward.
It’s also pretty legendary, as Taylor became the first player in major league history to hit three home runs in an elimination game, which led to the first recall of his career.
He came after his third homerun, in the seventh inning, Dodger Stadium shaking until the little bearded man took a small step out of the canoe and took off his cap and waved at him. You could hardly see him. He was hidden by his most famous teammates. It was absolutely perfect.
“Every time you do something cool, when you do it at Dodger Stadium, it makes it even more enjoyable,” Taylor said. “To make it happen for the first time on this stage… it was a special moment. “
The whole night was special for so many reasons. Struggling, AJ Pollock added two home runs. Former Albert Pujols threw two hits. Six Dodgers relievers pitched 8-1 / 3 scoreless innings.
“After a while it got out of hand,” Braves manager Brian Snitker admitted.
Just like this series? May be. After Thursday, everything seems possible.
“A win tonight really shifts the momentum in our favor,” said Dodgers reliever Evan Phillips.
The Dodgers are still lagging three games to two and must sweep both games in Atlanta this weekend to survive that duel and qualify for their fourth World Series in five years. The odds are still against them, as only 14 of 89 teams in baseball history have already overcome the three-game-one deficit the Dodgers faced on Thursday.
The Dodgers continue to struggle with injury and burnout. It’s still far away. But they’ve won seven playoff games in the past two seasons, and there are three distinct reasons they can be successful, one for every time Taylor has gone deep.
Dodgers survive to play another day, beat Braves 11-2
Dodgers players Chris Taylor, Cody Bellinger, Albert Pujols, AJ Pollock and manager Dave Roberts talk about the offense waking up in NLCS Game 5.
First, the Dodgers overcame that three-to-one deficit against that same Braves franchise last season.
Second, they will throw their two fully rested aces at Truist Park with Max Scherzer and Walker Buehler.
Finally, well, Chris Taylor!
His exploits appropriately took place amid the screaming climbs and falls of baseball’s eternal roller coaster.
Last weekend, his basic blunder helped doom the Dodgers in an opener loss. Still, a few weeks ago, he hit the dramatic home run to give the Dodgers a victory in the wildcard game against St. Louis.
He picked the perfect time to keep the thrills going, becoming only the 11th player in baseball history to hit three home runs in a playoff game while finishing with four hits and six RBIs for a Dodgers team that had 17 hits one night after managing just four.
“You have to take the lows with the ups. It’s a game of chess. … Then there are times like tonight where that’s what’s worth it, ”Taylor said. “It’s definitely a surreal feeling for me. … I never thought I was going to hit three home runs in a game, let alone a playoff game.
The Braves, meanwhile, chose an imperfect moment to lay an egg, as they lost that game with their ace Max Fried on the mound and despite having a clear advantage early on.
In fact, less than an inning on that slowly freezing night at Chavez Ravine, the Dodgers once again found themselves staring into the abyss of winter.
They were surrounded by empty seats as Dodger Stadium failed to fill up for a team that was one loss from extinction. They were followed by an ominous scorecard, with the Braves taking a two-point lead before the Dodgers even had a chance to strike. They were battling an injured pitcher with starter Joe Kelly abruptly leaving the game with pain in his arm.
The atmosphere was austere, the noise was muffled, and the easy thing would have been for the Dodgers to just surrender.
But as everyone in baseball now knows, defending World Series champions don’t get it easy.
“I saw a fight,” manager Dave Roberts said. “I saw fight. “
The fight erupted almost immediately, at the start of a second inning that became a statement.
After Pollock hit Fried’s third pitch of the inning in the flag of left field for a home run, Pujols fielded a left single, and on the next pitch, Taylor thrust a fastball into the field. left to give the Dodgers a 3- 2 lead.
In the next inning they added a run on a Taylor single, then two innings later Taylor slammed a Chris Martin two-out lead to right center fielder to give the Dodgers a 6-2 lead.
Finally, facing Dylan Lee with two strikeouts in the seventh, he made a change in the flag of left field to complete the formidable trio.
“I didn’t think too much; I’m in a pretty good position right now, ”Taylor said. “When you’re feeling good I think it’s more just seeing the ball, hitting the ball. “
The match ended with the usual massive cheers filled with unusual relief.
“Fans, the 2021 season is not over yet! Todd Leitz, the announcer for Dodger Stadium, proclaimed.
As easy as 1-2-3, Chris Taylor made sure of it.